In most of cases the cost of the raw material is the most expensive element of die cutting manufacture so we always try our best to maximize the part yield from the raw material. This is especially important with part drawings which call out 1 side with PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) or if the part itself is made from an adhesive tape. When purchasing any raw material which has an adhesive side it always has a high MOQ. Because the adhesive has a short shelf life the raw material must be produced by the OEM or the distributor as a order on demand – raw materials with adhesive are not held in inventory.
One of the main ways that we can keep our customers costs to a minimum is a strategy of making the dies with more than one part number on them – this is called “nesting”. There are some requirements: that the customer requires multiple parts from the same raw material and that the number required of each part number is the same quantity. In our experience using this strategy reduces the total overall costs by between 25-50%.
One of our customers had a requirement for 3 small parts to be die cut manufactured using a 3M VHB (Very High Bond) adhesive tape. 3M VHB tape is very expensive and has an exteremly high MOQ. Using our maximum yield strategy we were able to make a die with the 3 parts nested together which resulted in a price to the customer at 60% it would have cost using qty 3 dies of each of the 3 parts individually, see photo.
If you have any questions regarding costs and how to maximize the use of the raw material please contact us at 858 279 3343.
,A few weeks ago we were asked by a potential new customer if we could cut Fabric. This is a common question and one i always tend to worry about because the answer is always "it depends". The variable inputs include how firm the fabric is, whats the thickness of the fabric and how detailed the cuts need to be. Also, there is always a "surprise" with cutting fabric - something that crops up unexpected.
This customer www.fleeceworks.com wanted a series of parts making using the same fabric but with different designs and different material thicknesses. We and the customer were up for the challenge to see if Die Cutting was the best option to manufacture the parts. There were 3 different parts using 3 different thicknesses (1/4", 1/2", 3/4") of Fabric that were required.
We met with the customer and had a few discussions of how to produce the best service in terms of optimizing the material yield while still keeping the unit cost as low as possible. The surprise was that the Fabric arrived at the shop in large quantities in 60" widths and in lengths up to 72 feet - a challenge of handling and storage. But, we have a very "get the job done" attitude" and so we spent time before taking the best action.
Our solution was to make 1 die of the 2 similar design parts "nested" together on a 4 up die so that every time we hit the die we made 4 parts. The other larger part was put on another die using common rule to minimize the material being used. We succeeded in producing the best possible yield at the lowest possible cost.
The lesson we learned is that Die Cutting Fabric is very possible but "it all depends".
A San Diego start-up company needed to protect a suspension area on their newly developed bikes. Eminent Cycles www.eminentcycles.com are selling a bike that can be custom designed and has the highest possible quality parts. They needed a supply partner with a go-get attitude so they decided to ask Alpha Custom Solutions to source the material and manufacture a product that would meet their exacting specifications.
The final product is made from HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) at 0.035" thickness. This type of plastic has few branches so it provides a high-strength-to-density ratio which is ideal for a bike application. HDPE material is rigid but provides strength and flexibility but also important for outside use as it is UV and moisture resistant.
If you have a need for a custom product please contact: www.alphacustomsolutions.com
We were given two major challenges - to die cut parts out of a hard brittle carbon fiber material which was 0.030" thick and to maximize the number of parts we could make from the raw material sheets which were supplied by the customer.
After experimenting with various die cutting variations we were able to die cut the carbon fiber with our 100 tonne clam shell press and which produced a very good clean cut. Also as per our standard practice we always try and find the best solution to make the most parts from a raw material sheet or roll. This may involve us taking a little longer to calculate but its in the best interests of our customers especially as some raw material can be up to 75-80% of the total manufacturing cost. With the part design for this project we were able to nest 2 parts together.
If you need a gasket using Neoprene rubber or foam let us know. This particular gasket is 0.062" thick Neoprene rubber, 60 duro hardness with PSA on 1 side. This gasket is 3" square and required bolt holes very near to the edge of the part.
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Martin Chell brings a wealth of knowledge to his client projects. He has worked with large companies including Qualcomm and completed projects in a variety of aerospace, biotech and other applications.
“The die cut samples look great.” ~ Aquapail
“Thanks so much for the great service.” ~ Robert, Hat Fitness
“The gaskets worked out just fine. Thanks for your help.” ~ Chong, Redpoint Engineering